Fudging the numbers

“Last year was full of surprises. For most of us, one of the biggest was the rise in UK house prices: according to Halifax, they ended 2009 around 4% higher than they started it. But actually, the most surprising thing should have been not that house prices rose at all but that they rose so little. Interest rates were 5% in mid-2008 and 0.5% at the end of 2009. That’s important because, in the main, it is not the actual price of a house that determines its affordability to the average buyer but the price of the credit that he can get his hands on to pay for it with.”
Things are about to get worse for the housing market – Money Week

“The official figures are only provisional and are typically revised up or down by between 0.1 and 0.2 percentage points in future. Therefore, Britain may still be in recession.

Most of Britain’s major economic sectors remained weak in the final three months of the year. A 2.6 per cent increase in car sales was one of the few drivers of economic growth between October and December, after the motor industry received a boost from the Government’s car scrappage scheme. However, the scheme will be withdrawn next month.”
Britain at risk of plunging back into recession – Telegraph

“The first quarter of 2010 could be touch and go as VAT goes back up and consumers look to the coming election and fiscal squeeze. We risk a double-dip recession before the recovery has even got going.”
Rocky road to the election as the economy limps forward – Times

“The UK is a must to avoid. Its gilts are resting on a bed of nitroglycerine,” he said.”High debt with the potential to devalue its currency present high risks for bond investors.”
UK economy lies ‘on bed of nitroglycerine’ – Guardian

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